Anybody play "Cataclysm, Dark Days Ahead?" Here is my interpretation of my latest character as he looked before leaving his recently acquired farmhouse to desperately search for pots and pans to cook with.
|The shirt is pinker than intended. Pretend it's more crimson colored. Thanks.|
I'm not much of a gamer but I've always wanted to be. Sega Genesis was the last game system I bought and I got it on sale because the newer stuff was coming out and nobody wanted it. Loved that thing, and I bought a lot of cartridges really cheap. I never had much time for it, but when I was able to play I enjoyed it a lot.
At an advanced age, in the age of the iPad – a perfect gaming machine (for me) – I have even less time to goof around, but now there's no fussing with connecting wires to the back of a T.V., or fumbling with cartridges and manuals. Touch and play. I play mostly before sleep, in bed, after I've done a little reading.
Cataclysm DDA is a game I've had on the iPad for well over a year, and only recently have I learned how to make it go, although I'm far from being successful at it. It is extremely complex and difficult. It's a post-apocalyptic survival game, although this apocalypse is actually a multitude of apocalypses. Dinosaurs, giant worms, science experiments gone wrong, spores from outer space, Lovecraftian horrors, giant ants, a large variety of zombies (acid-spitting, exploding, shocking, super-strong, extra-tough, shrieking –attracts more zombies –etc.,) robots seeking to destroy all humans, mutagens and diseases, cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers, packs of wolves... and angry moose. I've lost at least five characters to moose.
It might sound very exotic and you'd think it must be a visual feast, but it's an ASCII game and there are no animated graphics to speak of. If you were to watch an ASCII purist play, the screen would look like a mishmash of alphanumeric symbols, as though an old typewriter had vomited onto your iPad.
I use a simple tileset that retains the spirit of the ASCII heritage but has more of a variety of symbols and isn't such a strain on my eyes. I have trouble looking at white characters on a black background and too much ASCII can give me a temporary kind of snow-blindness.
One of the reasons this game appeals to me is that so much of it relies on imagination. You don't watch it, you look at the symbols and read about what happens. The text tells you that Moses – fresh from killing several zombies – is wearing a hunting hat, a backpack, jeans, a utility vest, a small purse (he found that on a zombie child); and he carries a wood axe, a butcher knife and keeps a crowbar handy... but it's up to you to picture what it all looks like. Well, in this case, it was up to me. That's why it's so cool.
Mr. Duvall has survived twelve days. In my CDDA career that's a pretty good run. He spends most of his time dressing his wounds, scrounging for wild vegetables in the bushes, and boiling toilet water to make it safe to drink. Yeah, you have to do that. It's all about surviving any way you can. And run like hell if you see a moose.